Synonymous with music production technology, M-Audio - the former Midiman brand, after that converted to Avid's home studio and MI-oriented division, and meanwhile sold to inMusic Brands - announced the introduction of two new audio interfaces, the M-Track Solo and M-Track Duo. For a company that was among the first to introduce a complete series of USB-C audio interfaces in 2019, with its AIR Series, M-Audio took a bold and strange decision of "going-retro" and fitting these interfaces with old-fashioned USB-B connectors, to match the "good-old" USB 2.0 implementation.
But the reasoning for launching more outdated USB audio interfaces in 2021 might involve an interesting logic that we are certain M-Audio considered: its product managers probably assumed that people at home want to use the cables they already have in the drawer, and that "this is not time to explain about USB-C cables and adaptors."
Leaving technology evolution aside, M-Audio designed the two new M-Track Solo and M-Track Duo as solutions for users to easily and affordably dive right into the world of computer audio recording and production. And even though they are designed for music production, even supporting 24-bit/96kHz digital audio, M-Audio assumes they will be extensively used for live streaming, podcasting or simply listening to music, given that anyone interested in serious music production probably would order one of the also affordable and excellent M-Audio Air Series USB Audio/MIDI interfaces instead.
Regardless, the M-Audio M-Track Solo and M-Track Duo audio interfaces are perfectly decent portable (anyone one cares about portable at the moment?) solutions, adequate for the those realizing we are going to stay working from home a little longer, and are looking desperately to have computer audio playback and recording features on a laptop or desktop PC.
At least, both interfaces feature M-Audio’s own Crystal preamplifier circuits that are essential to connect those microphones with XLR connectors, and provide a transparent, low-noise audio signal that translate the best results with voice and musical instruments. These preamps also include +48V phantom power required for condenser mics, and both units also feature an headphone output, main line outputs, and a direct monitor selector to balance between the direct inputs and the playback from the computer software, making it easy to record new tracks or add parts to an existing composition.
Both audio interface models come complete with a comprehensive software package that includes everything needed to make professional recordings right out of the box: Pro Tools First M-Audio Edition and MPC Beats, two applications that will meet any music or audio production needs. In result of the fact that M-Audio was once part of Avid and there are still agreements in place, also included with the M-Track Solo and M-Track Duo is a powerful mixing suite with 20 plugins from the Avid Effects Collection. And also included are two powerful virtual instruments: Eleven Lite for guitarists, and Xpand!2, a very flexible and amazing sounding synth.
The difference between the M-Track Solo and M-Track Duo is that the first is a 2-channel recording unit, with a single XLR and 1/4-inch combo microphone preamp input, plus a dedicated instrument input (DI) for guitar or bass, which doubles as a stereo line input for connecting a digital piano, keyboard, or another music source. Outputs for monitoring are RCA stereo and headphones.
The M-Track Duo is still a 2-channel USB recording interface but features two XLR/jack combo preamp inputs with dedicated switches to enable any microphone, instrument, or line level device on each. There is +48V phantom power for connecting studio condenser microphones, and outputs are 1/4" jacks, plus the headphone out with independent level control.
The M-Track Solo and M-Track Duo are available now, retailing in the US for $49 and $69, respectively - as low as it can be.
www.m-audio.com | www.inmusicbrands.com